RIO DE JANEIRO — In a display that would have made Vince McMahon proud, a pair of Mongolian wrestling coaches stripped off their clothing in a protest of a call by officials that gave the bronze medal to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov on Sunday afternoon.
“This was a protest. There was a problem with the refereeing,” said Byambarenchin Bayarra, one of the Mongolian coaches. “The Mongolian wrestler won 7-6 and he lost because of this [judges’ decision]. This is the only time in history of wrestling with point penalty.”
With about seven seconds left in the match, Mongolia’s Mandakhnaran Ganzorig began running around the mat, waving his arms in front of Navruzov in celebration of his impending victory. When the final buzzer sounded, Ganzorig fell to the mat in celebration. His coaches covered him in the Mongolian flag.
But officials penalized Ganzorig for his late-match antics, calling him for fleeing the hold by not engaging in the match’s final seconds. That made it 7-7. The Mongolians protested the call and lost, giving another point to Navruzov to make it an 8-7 final.
As Ganzorig rolled around the mat in frustration, one of his coaches stomped to the judges’ table and slammed his hands on the mat. Then he ripped his shirt off, flexed his muscles and roared, much to the delight of the crowd. From there, a second Mongolian coach came over, pulled his shirt off and then went one step further and dropped his pants. He picked up his pile of clothes and dumped them on the judges’ table.
At the same time, the Uzbekistan coaches brought out their own flag and draped it around Navruzov as Ganzorig sobbed.
Both Mongolian coaches refused to leave the mat until they were escorted by the Brazilian National Public Security Force.
“The referees were not good,” Bayarra said. “They only supported the Uzbek. After the challenge for five seconds we win, and we are very happy for this medal.
“Three million people in Mongolian waited for this bronze medal and now we have no medal.”